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Blog  »  March 2014
Mar 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Employee arrested after payroll theft

UK supermarket giant, Morrisons have hit the headlines over the last week after it was discovered that payroll data belonging to over 100,000 of its 131,000 strong workforce had been stolen by a member of staff.

The information which includes bank details was published online and sent on a disc to a UK newspaper.
The supermarket has confirmed that the information has been removed from the internet and also that no customer details had been accessed by the thief. They’ve also reassured the affected employees that they will not be “financially disadvantaged” as a result of the crime.

The case highlights the risks employers face with regards to confidential information being leaked. It emphasises the need for employers to take proactive steps in protecting their data. It may not be possible for every employer to implement complex data security systems, but at a minimum, employers need to have confidentiality policies in place that prohibit employees from disclosing confidential data. Internet, email, social media and telecommunication policies will also clarify what is expected behaviour for employees across these mediums. Having robust policies in place will enable employers to take appropriate action where inappropriate behaviour occurs.

See also our blog “What to do if you suspect an employee of stealing”.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Employee Theft, Staff Handbook

Mar 14

Posted by
Caroline Malone

UK minimum wage to rise to £6.50 in October, government confirms

The government has approved a rise in the national minimum wage (NMW) to £6.50 an hour in October this year, as recommended by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC).

This change is expected to boost take home pay for more than one million employees who could see their wage increase by as much as £355 a year..

From the 1st of October 2014 NMW rates will be:

  • a 19p (3 per cent) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour) 
  • a 10p (2 per cent) increase in the rate for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour) 
  • a 7p (2 per cent) increase in the rate for 16 to 17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour) 
  • a 5p (2 per cent) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour) 

Bright Contracts – Employment contracts and handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software

Posted in Payroll Software

Mar 14

Posted by
Caroline Malone

Draft rules on shared parental leave and pay published - UK

Government calls for employer responses to new regime

The government has published its draft regulations for shared parental leave and pay, with finalised rules scheduled to come into force on the 1st of October 2014. However, law experts are already warning that the proposed rules “look terribly complicated for both employers and employees”. The draft regulations outline new entitlements for mums and dads, or their partners, to receive 'statutory shared parental pay' from their employers.

The proposals detail the conditions that parents must meet to qualify for these payments. They also allow flexibility for parents to change their requirements after their initial claim.This secondary legislation is part of a radical government overhaul of the existing maternity and paternity regime and it will support the primary legislation known as the Children and Families Act once it receives Royal Assent. The rules will allow both parents to share up to 50 weeks' leave, which can be taken at the same time, or separately. Mums will be able to cut short maternity leave and, provided they give at least eight weeks' notice, can make up to three requests to share their maternity leave with their partner after having their child. But if an employer does not agree to discontinuous periods of leave the employee will have to take the leave continuously. Policy makers at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (Bis) have urged employers, and other stakeholders, to respond to the draft rules, saying they want to make the new system of shared parental leave and pay “as simple to use as possible”.Bis has indicated it intends the changes to take effect for babies born on or after 5 April 2015.

But in response to the publication of the draft, Pattie Walsh, London head of employment at DLA Piper, said: "The much trailed overhaul of the UK's existing maternity and paternity regime has now had some flesh put on the bones with the publication of a series of draft regulations. "The government's aim to allow parents to share a period of parental leave is a laudable one. However, at first blush at least, the regulations which will implement the system look terribly complicated - for both employers and employees. They are due to come into force in October 2014, leaving employers with a relatively short time to prepare new policies and procedures, and will apply to employees expecting a baby on or after 5 April 2015.And she added: "Surprisingly, it appears that only employees with 26 weeks' service will qualify for the right to take shared parental leave in any event."


Bright Contracts – Employment contracts and handbooks.
BrightPay – Payroll & Auto Enrolment Software

Posted in Payroll

Mar 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How to Roll out Contracts & Handbooks to Existing Staff

Introducing a contract of employment or a handbook for the first time to current employees, can be a difficult, tricky matter for many employers.

It is an area that many employers put on the long finger, or avoid doing until they have to.

Common reasons for not implementing employee documentation include:

 •  Lack of time
 •  Fear that employees will refute the terms of the documents and refuse to sign
 •  Anxiety that documentation will harm the relationship between management and staff, if the employees feel a new set of rules are being entrust upon then
 •  A false belief that it will restrict how management deal with employees

However, this does not have to be the case. It is possible to introduce new documentation without spending huge amounts of time, alienating your work force, or causing disruption.

The answer lies in good communications.

To help employers introduce their new Bright Contract’s employee documentation, we’ve created a short video outlining our four step guide to rolling out contracts and handbooks.

Alternatively, read our guide to Introducing Contracts & Handbooks to Existing Staff available here.


Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, Employment Contract, Staff Handbook


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